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MDC Maori Sports Awards

High achieving young Maori will be the order of the day at the 1999 MDC Maori Sports Awards.

At its August meeting, NZ On Air agreed to allocate funding to the 1999 MDC Maori Sports Awards.

This year the show will devote particular attention to young Maori athletes, highlighting the benefits of sporting scholarships and featuring young people who will be representing New Zealand at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

"The achievement of Maori sportspeople is well documented in New Zealand's history. The opportunity to celebrate this success, in a uniquely Maori way, will be possible for the ninth year running with the assistance of NZ On Air funding," said NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall.

"The Awards are a good example of mainstream Maori broadcasting. It is a regular part of our television diet and celebrates Maori achievement."

"From a sporting perspective, the Awards align easily with the dominant part of the New Zealand psyche and culture. Sporting prowess is admired in this country and transcends most political and social boundaries," said TVNZ Producer, Tainui Stephens.

NZ On Air's 1999/2000 Statement of Intent indicated that due to NZ On Air's limited funding, its ability to effectively deliver mainstream Maori programmes at a sufficient level was at risk.

"However, the MDC Maori Sports Awards is a very good opportunity for NZ On Air to meet its responsibilities to promote Maori language and culture. The awards are well established, well regarded and indeed a well attended event," said NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall.

NZ On Air has contributed $41,125 towards the screening of the Awards, which will screen on TV One, at 9.30pm, on 27 November 1999.

EMDS....

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